The University of Bath is pleased to announce the launch of the call for Bath Beacons 2023/2024, following a successful pilot first launched in 2021.


  • Total funding for the call: £200,000
  • Award range: £20,000 to £40,000
  • Grant start date: September 2023
  • Grant end date: December 2024

What are we looking for

The Bath Beacons scheme is aimed at developing and supporting groups or networks of researchers with capability and capacity to develop large research funding applications (>£2M). This call for new beacons is focused on multi-disciplinary collaborations in areas aligned to the UKRI’s five strategic themes:

  • Building a green future
  • Building a secure and resilient world
  • Creating opportunities, improving outcomes
  • Securing better health, ageing and wellbeing
  • Tackling infections

Applicants must identify their alignment with UKRI strategic themes and ensure that their areas of focus complement existing Bath Beacons, Institutes and Research Centres, and do not duplicate existing entities. Proposers must also demonstrate how becoming a Bath Beacon will add value to the University in terms of developing a culture of grant capture and leadership of multi-disciplinary communities of academics. Applicants must outline their plans to develop critical mass of activity, capacity, capability and credibility to apply for £2M+ research bids within 12-18 months of being awarded beacon status.

Who can apply

This call is open to all academic staff at the University of Bath who have the ambition and drive to develop grant bidding teams, leading to large research grant applications in the UKRI priority areas. We particularly encourage leadership from and involvement of early-mid career researchers and from those with diverse backgrounds. Proposals are expected to cover a multidisciplinary team of researchers, and it is up to applicants to determine the size of the core team and network to best achieve the proposed goals. Each researcher may be in involved in one application, either as Principal or Co-Investigator. External applicants are welcome to be co-opted members of the beacon, once awarded, but cannot receive direct funding from the University.

How to apply

Key dates

  • Opening date: 30 March 2023
  • Closing date: 22 June 2023
  • Outcome to applicants: Early July

Funding available

The total maximum funding available for this call is up to £200,000; including extending the activities for beacons continuing from the pilot round. We expect new Beacons to develop plans for a suite of activities within an available funding envelope of approximately £20,000 to £40,000 – please note that this is indicative and not intended as a minimum or a maximum budget target. Applicants should consider what activities they would want to undertake and will need to submit draft costings and a brief justification of the resources requested. Funding can be requested for research enabling research activities, but not research itself.

Examples of eligible costs include but are not restricted to:

  • student projects, placements or vertically integrated projects (practicum, PhD, Masters students)
  • admin/project management staff, external facilitators or external bid writers
  • sandpit or workshop activities, networking meetings and events, funder visits, promotional materials
  • seed funding for small feasibility projects
  • special study leave (8-12 weeks) to and match funding contributions towards the development of large grant applications

Activities are expected to start no later than September 2023, and funding to end by December 2024.

Assessing your application

The Bath Beacons proposals will be assessed by internal peer-review and formal decision of a panel comprising PVCRs, ADRs and the Head of Research Development. Applicants will be notified of the outcomes in early July.

Assessment criteria:

  • Alignment of the research challenge identified with UKRI strategic themes
  • How the Beacon will add value to the University’s research environment and our ability to respond to funding calls
  • Research team and ability to deliver the Bath Beacons objectives
  • Planned actions to build capacity, capability and credibility of the group with a view to apply for large research grants (including activities proposed, funding opportunities identified)
  • Planned actions to develop research culture and grant capture culture


To ask a question about the opportunity, or for help and guidance with costing activities and writing your proposal, please contact the Research Development team in RIS:

More on the Bath Beacons.